IPL 2021 Auctions – All-Rounders Attract Big Money & Some Stars Go Unsold – Five Takeaways From IPL 2021 Auctions
The mini auction for the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) had a few big surprises in store. Chris Morris became the most expensive player to be sold at the auctions in the history of the IPL when he was bought by the Rajasthan Royals for a sum of Rs 16.25 crore. Yet some other big names like Corey Anderson, Jason Roy and Aaron Finch went unsold.
We look at 5 Big Takeaways from the IPL 2021 Auctions in Chennai.
1. All-Rounders Attract the Big Moolah
There were as many as 8 all-rounders in the list of the 10 most expensive players at the IPL 2021 Auctions. It was the auction for the all-rounder, who is by far the most sought after type of player in T20 cricket. The bits and pieces players as some experts call them certainly did not make bits and pieces amounts at the auctions. Chris Morris, the South African all-rounder went for a sum of Rs 16.25 crore to the Royals. His destructive prowess in the lower order and wicket-taking and restrictive abilities with the ball made him the most expensive player in IPL history.
A poor 2020 with Kings XI Punjab did not stop the bidding wars for Glenn Maxwell whose reputation and past record fetched him a price of Rs 14.25 crore from the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). New Zealand’s fast bowling all-rounder, Kyle Jamieson was the other two-skilled player purchased by the RCB for a sum of Rs 15 crore.
2. The Big Surprises
Krishnappa Gowtham, a hard-hitting lower-order batsman and a restrictive off spin bowler became the fifth most expensive player of the auctions when he was purchased for a sum of Rs 9.25 crore by Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The franchise has had problems with accelerating their innings at the death and Gowtham, with a strike rate of almost 160 was no doubt a great addition but no one expected him to set the record for the most expensive uncapped player in the history of the IPL!
The other big surprise was Riley Meredith who was sold to Punjab Kings for Rs 8 crore becoming the most expensive overseas uncapped player in the history of the IPL. The Australian quick had clearly impressed the scouts with his searing pace and performance in the BBL 2020-21 where he picked 16 wickets at an economy rate of 7.82 in the tournament. But to gamble the big bucks on an uncapped player who has barely played 18 first-class matches and 34 T20s by a team who has changed their name in order to change the fortunes was something no pundit could have predicted.
Punjab Kings made headlines once again by signing Shahrukh Khan for Rs 5.25 crore. A batting all-rounder, Khan has an impressive Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and has a reputation for being destructive in the middle order. But his numbers are not very flattering – his strike rate is under 135 and he does not bowl much. Another bold signing by the Punjab Kings!
3. The Stars Who Remained Unsold
Aaron Finch was probably the biggest name who did not warrant a bid in the auctions. The Australian limited overs captain has a strike rate of around 154 in T20I cricket and has the experience of playing in over 300 T20 matches all over the world in which he averages close to 35 with a strike rate of above 140. Yet, he remained unsold!
Corey Anderson – the man who holds the record for the second-fastest ODI hundred ever – was another huge overseas player who was left high and dry at the auctions. Mysterious Nepalese spinner, Sandeep Lamichhane has picked 125 wickets in 96 T20 matches at an economy of 6.79 and has a number of variations up his sleeve apart from his stock leg break. Yet there were no takers for him at the auction when this was tipped to be the auction for the mystery spinner!
Jason Roy – the destructive England opener who has a strike rate of 143 in T20 cricket including a wealth of experience and 4 hundreds was not bought at the auctions neither was the T20 specialist all-rounder David Willey who has a strike rate of 140 and economy rate of under 8 in T20 cricket.
4. Batsmen Not the Flavour of the Season
There was not even one specialist batsman in the list of 10 most expensive players at the auctions which was dominated by 8 all-rounders and two bowlers. A number of pure batsmen like Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Shaun Marsh, Marnus Labuschagne, Aaron Finch, Evin Lewis, Colin Munro and Darren Bravo remained unsold.
Some other big names went at very nominal prices – Steven Smith was the prime example. The Australian went for a sum of just Rs 2.2 crore. Dawid Malan, who reached the maximum ranking points for T20I cricket and has an average of 53.43 and strike rate close to 150 for England could only lure Punjab Kings to fetch out Rs 1.5 crore for his services.
Clearly the franchises have realised that in T20 cricket the matches are won and dominated by multi-skilled players and those with a ball in their hands. The value of the specialist batsman – barring a few greats – is going down.
5. Age – A Big Factor in Selection and Determining Price
There was a strong correlation between the age of the player and their demand in the IPL 2021 Auctions. Many veteran big ticket players, both Indian and overseas, either remained unsold or did not fetch a high price. Liam Plunkett, Morne Morkel, Adil Rashid, Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch, Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan are all fine T20 players but are well past their prime and remained unsold. Harbhajan Singh and Kedar Jadhav just went for Rs 2 crore each.
On the other hand, young and inexperienced players bagged big bucks – players like Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith and Jhye Richardson were amongst the most sought after in the IPL.